Illinois Votes for Birth Control

Chicago (11/5/14) — Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA), the non-partisan political and advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood in Illinois, applauds the two-thirds of Illinois voters who marked “Yes” for insurance coverage of birth control on Tuesday’s ballot.

The General Election ballot included the following advisory question:

Shall any health insurance plan in Illinois that provides prescription drug coverage be required to include prescription birth control as part of that coverage?

“On Tuesday, Illinois voters sent an overwhelming and resounding message when it comes to birth control coverage in health insurance,” said Carole Brite, President and CEO of PPIA. “It’s not your boss’ business!”

PPIA heard its supporters’ outrage after the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby decision and turned this into action in favor of a “Yes” for birth control.  PPIA implemented a comprehensive campaign for Illinois Votes for Birth Control through canvassing, direct mail, phone banks, social media, and email alerts to 200,000 supporters informing them of the ballot question and urging them to vote ‘Yes’ for birth control coverage.

“Planned Parenthood Illinois Action played a pivotal role in the outcome by turning out thousands of supporters who voted ‘Yes’,” added Brite. “During the weeks before Election Day, we consistently received positive feedback and support for the birth control question. This issue clearly resonated with voters.”

In June, the Hobby Lobby decision allowed some for-profit corporations to deny their employees’ health insurance coverage for birth control because of their boss’ religious beliefs.  The women who work for these companies are at risk of losing an important part of their preventive healthcare coverage. In light of the Hobby Lobby decision, PPIA urged Illinois voters to vote “Yes” on Tuesday so that elected officials would understand that birth control coverage is an important issue for Illinoisans.

“Preventive care, including birth control, is basic healthcare for women – and the decision to use birth control is a conversation between a woman and her doctor, not a woman and her boss,” commented Brite. “We hope that Tuesday’s vote in favor of insurance coverage for birth control will give policy makers the support they need to implement policies ensuring that all Illinois women have access to affordable birth control no matter where they live, who they work for, or how much money they make.”

The Birth Control Referendum gives Illinoisans an opportunity to voice their opinion about the issue of birth control coverage in health insurance.

The results of the referendum will inform the governor and lawmakers as they explore ways to ensure that women have access to affordable birth control.

Why birth control matters:
  • Birth control is nearly universal - 99% of sexually active women have used birth control at some point in their lives including the need to control certain medical conditions.
  • Access to birth control improves the health of women and their families. Improved access to birth control is directly linked to declines in maternal and infant mortality.
  • Women struggle with the cost of birth control. This is not just a health issue, it’s an economic issue. Co-pays for birth control pills can cost as much as $50 a month and that adds up.The Illinois Votes for Birth Control Campaign wants you to vote "Yes!" Illinoisans need to make sure that politicians know that women need access to affordable birth control no matter where they live, who they work for, or how much money they make.
  • Stay informed with updates from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund!

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